CAMDEN – A Washington Township man has been convicted in connection with health insurance fraud that caused losses of more than $4.6 million.
Steven Monaco, 40, was charged with leading two related scams that defrauded public health insurance plans, according to the New Jersey US Attorney’s Office.
In one scheme, the Sewell man arranged bribes with a doctor, Daniel Oswari, that allowed Monaco to receive $36,000 in commissions as a sales representative for a medical diagnostic laboratory between late 2013 and 2016.
In addition, Monaco and a pharmaceutical sales representative, Richard Zappala, misled insurance plans, including New Jersey state and local government plans, into paying for expensive compounded prescription drugs between 2014 and 2016, the US attorney’s office said.
Monaco and Zappala took a portion of insurers’ payments to compounding pharmacies for unnecessary prescriptions, the US attorney’s office said in a statement.
Oswari and other medical professionals were paid to write prescriptions, and participants were also paid to identify and recruit patients with vulnerable insurance plans, he said.
“As a result of this scheme, Monaco received approximately $350,000 and caused a loss of more than $4.6 million to insurance plans,” the statement said.
Monaco was initially charged in 2019 with two doctors, Oswari, of Bordentown, and Michael Goldis of Mount Laurel, and physician assistant Aaron Jones of Willingboro.
Oswari pleaded guilty in December 2019 to fraud and bribery charges. Goldis pleaded guilty to her in June 2020 for making false statements related to health care matters. And Jones pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy in March 2022.
Zappala pleaded guilty in September 2017 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
A fifth participant, Goldis’ physician assistant Jason Chacker of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in October 2019.
Oswari, Goldis, Chacker and Zappala await sentencing.
A jury in Camden federal court convicted Monaco on April 19 of eight counts of health care fraud and wire fraud.
He was also convicted of conspiring to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and conspiring to violate the Anti-Bribery Statute and the Travel Act, the US attorney’s office said.
US District Judge Robert B. Kugler scheduled sentencing for August 24.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development, and other topics for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times, and The Daily Journal.
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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Steven Monaco Guilty Of Misleading Insurers With Compound Drug Scheme